This is my garden. When we moved in two years ago, the yard had a tarp over it. It appeared that the backyard hadn’t been used in years. Strange weeds grew up from between the cracks in the tarp. Covering no more than 20 feet by 12 feet (the whole area is not visible in this picture), every inch was covered in cigarette remnants. Inspiration took hold. I asked and received permission to “clean up” the backyard.
It took a long time. Years of neglect needed to be undone. Bags of glass and other debris went to the curb along with all the weeds. One weed in particular caused me great angst. Amazingly, the weed roots grew laterally, creating a network that were not easily unearthed. Every time I found one growing, I had to dig around the weed to reach and harvest the root system. If I tried to pull it without doing this, the weed would break off and a new one would sprout within weeks. I am still not sure if I got them all, but it looks like I made a dent.
After I got through cleaning, I tracked the sunlight that moved through the backyard to see how much light got in, and for how long. Only the west corner of the yard received enough sunlight, so I cordoned off that corner, turned over all the soil and planted Impatiens. They thrived. I still had to clean up the debris and cigarettes occasionally, but, thankfully, there were fewer than before. This year, as you can see, I’ve replanted the Impatiens, along with a beautiful hydrangea, and a few leafy plants called Hosta.
We no longer have access to the backyard, but I still do the planting. When asked by the tenant who has access to the yard why I do this, I responded, “Because the yard deserves to be reclaimed. And the flowers might encourage our neighbors to see the backyard as a garden.”
Certain things take effort. Change takes time. In all aspects of life, persistence and love can make things better. So, be persistent. Make a change that makes a difference. Imbue your actions with love. From that place, your flowers will grow.